Kathmandu, February 27
In selecting ‘non-politician’ Yubaraj Khatiwada as the powerful Minister of Finance of his government, CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli, of course, faced severe criticism from a section of his own cadres.
Apparently, the former Nepal Rastra Bank governor was not expected to be sworn in as the Cabinet minister though some people had begun talking about him as the ‘de facto’ finance minister in Oli Cabinet immediately after he was taken to the National Assembly through a presidential appointment.
However, the Supreme Court on Sunday stayed his appointment as an Upper House member, further postponing the possibility of his role in the new government.
But, less than 24 hours after the court order, Khatiwada took the ministerial oath and assumed office.
UML insiders say Oli’s ‘unexpected’ move has two clear messages. The first: He does not want to waste this term of premiership. Therefore, he wants skilled and qualified people in his team and it means they can be from outside the mainstream political activities too. It seems he is not in the mood to make any compromise in the selection in any condition.
The second message directly targets the court. His appointment as the Finance Minister is an indication of Oli’s belief that Khatiwada deserves some key responsibilities in his team, the Finance Minister if not the National Assembly member.
Oli’s other choices so far are also equally prudent. For example, he inducted ‘good governance icon’ Lalbabu Pandit as the Environment Minister on the very day of his oath. Likewise, it has been learned that he is thinking of appointing UML’s youth leader Rabindra Adhikari, who did a commendable performance at Parliament’s Development Committee, as the Minister for Physical Infrastructure.
“Every person has a limited time to work. My time is even more limited. Therefore, I want to best utilise my time to build my nation,” Oli has repeated this statement quite often in past few years. Now, he has got his time and he needs to catch it.
Published on February 27th, Tuesday, 2018 12:56 PM